The easiest way to ensure a long and healthy life for your car is to participate in routine maintenance checks. These checks, along with routine oil changes and tire rotations, help keep your car running in top shape and are useful in spotting potential problems before they turn into larger, more expensive repairs.

However, getting these services does not disqualify owners from paying attention to and listening to their cars between checks. Overlooking or dismissing your car’s early warning signs can lead to big, expensive problems. Here are a few things you never want to ignore.

The biggest warning sign is located on the dashboard of your car. The dash has multiple warning lights, including check engine, low oil, and battery indicators.

  • Check Engine: Your engine is equipped with sensors that continuously monitor its conditions. When any condition is below the standard set by the manufacturer, your engine light will go on. If you see a light with “check engine” or “service engine soon,” call your Utah auto mechanic and schedule an appointment. Catching engine problems in the early stages can save you time and money.
  • Oil: Your engine needs a certain level of oil in order to function properly. If your oil levels are low, your oil light will go on. You should check your oil level as soon as possible. If there is evidence of a leak (such as oil spots under your car), take your car into your Utah auto mechanic. Oil leaks can be dangerous to the life of your engine and should be immediately taken care of.
  • Battery: An illuminated battery light warns that your car battery is not being properly charged. Possible causes include a battery near the end of its life, a faulty alternator, or corroded battery terminals. If your light is on, or if your car is slow in starting, make sure you get it checked to avoid being stranded.

Other areas to be aware of include alignment, brakes, and temperature gauges.

  • Alignment: If you can feel your car pull one direction or another while you drive, your alignment is likely off. Misalignment can be caused by a myriad of factors and should be fixed before it causes a more serious problem.
  • Brakes: If you hear a squealing or grinding sound when you stop your car, you may have a problem with your brake pads, rotors, or calipers. Always check any potential brake problems immediately to ensure the safety of your car and your passengers.
  • Temperature: Increased temperature levels can cause major problems to your car’s engines. Keep an eye on your temperature gauge to make sure that it stays in the safety zone. Problems with leaking coolant or other overheating issues will push your temperature gauges into the hot zone and you should immediately call your Utah auto repair shop.

Take advantage of any early warning signs to get your car properly inspected and repaired. These indicators can protect your safety, the life of your car, your time, and your money.